Enhanced access to early visual processing of perceptual simultaneity in autism spectrum disorders

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Abstract

We compared judgements of the simultaneity or asynchrony of visual stimuli in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically-developing controls using Magnetoencephalography (MEG). Two vertical bars were presented simultaneously or non-simultaneously with two different stimulus onset delays. Participants with ASD distinguished significantly better between real simultaneity (0 ms delay between two stimuli) and apparent simultaneity (17 ms delay between two stimuli) than controls. In line with the increased sensitivity, event-related MEG activity showed increased differential responses for simultaneity versus apparent simultaneity. The strongest evoked potentials, observed over occipital cortices at about 130 ms, were correlated with performance differences in the ASD group only. Superior access to early visual brain processes in ASD might underlie increased resolution of visual events in perception.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1857-1866
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume43
Issue number8
Early online date14 Dec 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

    Keywords

  • Asperger syndrome, event timing, high-functioning autism, magnetoencephalography, visual simultaneity

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